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Dispatch

AD1: Malawi’s 2014 Elections: Amid concerns about fairness, outcome is too close to call

Carolyn Logan, Michael Bratton and Boniface Dulani 1 Jun 2014 Malawi
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Key findings
  • 78% say the country is going in the wrong direction in 2014, while just 18% say it is going in the right direction. Dissatisfaction has increased from 20122 , although even then a majority of 51% said things were going in the wrong direction
  • President Banda’s approval rating has dropped from a high of 68% shortly after she took office in 2012, to just 38% in 2014 (with 60% disapproval)
  • 71% agree that ‘We should choose our leaders in this country through regular, open and honest elections’, compared to just 28% who instead believe that ‘Since elections sometimes produce bad results, we should adopt other methods for choosing this country’s leaders’
  • 55% think the MEC is ‘very well prepared’ for the upcoming election, and 20% think it is at least somewhat prepared; just 16% think it is ‘not at all’ or ‘not very well’ prepared

Malawians will go to the polls on 20 May 2014 to select their next leaders. In an Afrobarometer poll conducted 6 to 8 weeks before the election, Malawians express strong
confidence in their ability to vote as they choose, but also concerns about the freeness and fairness of the overall process, especially the vote count. Given uncertainty about registration and turnout levels among Malawian youth, as well as the significant number of respondents who did not reveal a vote choice, the election remains too close to call.

Carolyn Logan

Carolyn is the director of analysis at Afrobarometer.

Michael Bratton

Michael is a board member at Afrobarometer

Boniface Dulani

Boni is the director of surveys at Afrobarometer